This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

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If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.

1. Bartz and crafts
Yahoo!
(NAS: YHOO) closed at $12.10 just before Carol Bartz was introduced as the dot-com giant's new CEO on Jan. 13, 2009. The stock's gain during her nearly 32-month tenure was less than 7%. Have you pulled up a quote since her Tuesday night nixing? The stock is up nearly 12% in the last two days.

Maybe Yahoo!'s board has finally cracked the code. All it needs to do is fire its CEOs faster!

Seriously, though, Bartz entered a bad situation at Yahoo!, but she knew what she was getting herself into. She didn't do herself any favors by failing to land any significant acquisitions, fumbling the Alibaba asset scandal, and outsourcing the company's flagship search business to Bing. She just wasn't the right fit for what Yahoo! needed, and the only real surprise is how patient the board was until now.

2. Slinging it
Board appointments often reveal so much. Amazon.com (NAS: AMZN) added a ninth member to its board of directors yesterday. Blake Krikorian will join the boardroom.

His name may not be familiar, but Krikorian was the founder and CEO of Sling Media, a pioneer of streaming video. The Slingbox allowed Internet-tethered cable subscribers to stream their live television anywhere that they had another online connection. Sling was ahead of its time, and it made cable and satellite television companies nervous at the time.

Krikorian went on to start a tech consulting and incubator firm, though his appointment is obviously a clear indication that Amazon plans to beef up its presence in streaming video.

3. Dell's a buy, dude
Dell (NAS: DELL) and Baidu (NAS: BIDU) make for an odd couple, but the two are teaming up to build on Baidu's mobile ambitions.

Why would China's leading search engine team up with a stateside hardware giant that has flopped in past smartphone forays? Since most stateside companies simply outsource the smartphone manufacturing back to Asia, shouldn't Baidu have hooked up with a local darling?

Well, Dell and Baidu have more to gain than you probably think. Baidu is getting cabin fever in China, and dreaming of a global presence is a lot easier with an established partner at the other side of the globe. Dell probably has more to gain, since teaming up with Baidu is the ultimate form of validation in the world's most populous nation.

4. IMAX is infectious on both ends
It's been a rough summer for IMAX (NYS: IMAX) investors, but that's nothing that a fast-moving deadly virus can't fix. Contagion opens on 257 IMAX screens and dozens of international screens today.

Meanwhile, in China, IMAX is beefing up its presence in the exhibitor darling's second-largest market by appointing a CEO to its IMAX China subsidiary. IMAX shares have shed roughly half of their value since peaking in June, so a double dose of positive developments is a welcome sight.

5. iPads for gamers
Diehard gamers may cringe at Apple's (NAS: AAPL) App Store offerings, but they can't deny that they're popular with the larger base of casual gamers.

Now even GameStop (NYS: GME) realizes this. The video game retailer recently began accepting iPads, iPhones, and iPods as trade-ins for in-store credit. Now 9to5Mac is hearing that the small-box chain will begin selling Apple's popular iOS devices.

GameStop surely must've had to do a bit of soul searching on this. Hardware is its lowest-margin business. GameStop's juicier markups rest in software, and especially the resale of software trade-ins. Selling iPods, iPads, and iPhones means handing hardware buyers over to Apple's ecosystem for the subsequent downloads.

It's the right thing to do at a time when comps are slipping and its hardware and software partners are cooking up digital delivery solutions of their own.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, GameStop, and Yahoo!.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Baidu, Amazon.com, Dell, Apple, Yahoo!, and IMAX; writing covered calls on GameStop; and creating a bull call spread position on Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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